Project Selection and Business Case

Choose a case study you would like to use for the project management plan in this course, and write a business case for the project.

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Note: The assessments in this course build upon each other, so you are strongly encouraged to complete them in sequence.

Project Selection

For this assessment, it is necessary to have a full understanding of the purpose of project selection and business case analysis in the proper context.

Project selection in this instance refers to you identifying and selecting a case study for the project management plan. In business and technical industries, selecting a project to develop and execute will depend on the goals of the organization and how a project can best meet those goals—this is where the business case analysis is utilized.

Business Case

In accordance with the PMBOK® Guide, a business case is a document that collates information to determine if the project is beneficial to the organization or sponsor. It also enables a detailed analysis to determine if there is a business need for the project, if the costs to complete the project are worth the investment, and any other information for deciding to move forward. As outlined in the assessment, developing a business case involves collecting and analyzing high-level information to determine if the project is worthy of expending resources. Specifically, it includes identifying all project integration elements that will be part of the project.

Project integration consists of the input, process tools, and output activities needed to manage the processes and resources of an organization to complete a project. Generally speaking, project integration is an analysis and decision-making activity that determines resource allocation, trade-offs of strategic objectives, and the management of interdependencies.

Another area of the business case that is critical in justifying the decision to move forward is the project scope management. This is the process that establishes a clear understanding of what the project is expected to deliver and what is not expected to be delivered. Project scope management, by ensuring that all project requirements are addressed, helps safeguard a return on expended resources.

Project Selection

Note: Developing a project management plan requires specific steps that must be carried out in a certain order. Therefore, you must complete the assessments in this course in the order in which they are presented.

In Assessment 5, you will submit a project management plan. To prepare for Assessment 5 and all the other assessments in this course, select a project to study. You may choose any case study that will serve your purposes for completing the project management plan. As stated earlier, when an organization selects a project to expend resources against, it is often in support of achieving an organizational or business goal. When you select a project to study, think of a goal the project will support. Therefore, read Assessment 5 before you begin Assessment 1.

Here are some suggested project ideas:

  • Implement a plan for a new, or for updating, current software for a business.
  • Implement a plan for a new, or for updating, an existing network for a business.
  • Implement a plan for relocating a data center. The data center supports a large government agency in California. Your project is to move the center to Austin, Texas.
  • Implement a plan to renovate the “W” hotel in Washington, DC.
  • Implement a plan to refurbish a 1965 Ford Mustang or any other vehicle that is at least 30 years old.

Once you have selected your project, use it complete the business case, following the instructions provided below.

Business Case

Once you have chosen your project, develop your business case, which identifies the business need for the project. It includes such items as:

  • The objective of the project.
  • The current situation or issue.
  • An analysis of options that could be used to resolve the business need.

A business case is one of the first documents created by PMs to plan the project and forecast what actions it will require. In the role of a PM, complete a business case for your project. For this assessment, high-level information is sufficient. Include the following information in your document:

  • Introduce your business case to stakeholders. Also provide any useful background information. Be concise; write no more than two paragraphs.
  • Articulate the business objectives for your project.
    • Describe what the project will result in once it is complete. For example, improve services, reduce long-term costs, and eliminate risks.
    • Analyze option and recommendation. What will be your methodology to determine the solution? For example, brainstorming, survey, et cetera.
  • Write a situation and problem or opportunity statement. Describe why this project is necessary. For example, “because of the costs of doing business in California, data center needs to move to Texas to save costs.”
  • Provide preliminary project requirements. Identify the high-level work to be completed in the project, due date for completion, et cetera. For this assessment, 3–5 high-level requirements are sufficient. You will identify more requirements as you develop your plan.
  • Provide high-level estimates for schedule and financial costs. Include the following:
    • Budget estimate and financial analysis. A high-level rough order of magnitude (ROM) estimate is sufficient for this assessment. For example, 1 million dollars for materials, 2 million dollars for labor, and so on.
    • Schedule estimate. This is to include an estimated timeline for completing the project.
    • Potential risks. Identify any risks. For example, weather, labor issues, et cetera.
    • Critical assumptions and constraints. What assumptions and constraints are you considering. For example, costs, schedule or time, et cetera.
  • Include exhibits (optional). Include any diagrams, tables, or charts that should be presented with your business case.
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